Updated: Nov 6
I’ve written about the different attachment types before, and it’s one of our most popular posts.
Rightly so, because parents who care about their children know that their relationship with their child is of the utmost importance. If our goal is to raise emotionally intelligent, kind, and loving human beings, then fostering a secure attachment and having a quality relationship with your child is probably your biggest goal in order to achieve this.
There are three main ways to promote a secure attachment, and we are going to dig into them in this post!
Provide rest, nourishment, safety, and love.
As your child’s caregiver, you must first and foremost make sure that all of their very basic needs are being met.
If you’re not familiar with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, you can read more here, but basically, he outlines that in order for our children to someday reach their full potential and self-actualization, every layer of the pyramid must first be met, from the bottom to the top.
At the very base of the pyramid are our very most basic needs as human beings; our physiological needs, which include food, warmth, water, and rest. Make sure your child is getting all the nourishment, hydration, and sleep they need…and dress them appropriately.
The next layer includes our needs for safety and security. Babyproof and childproof your home. Provide a safe place to sleep, follow daily and nap- and bedtime routines, and simply being there are some simple ways to help meet this need for your baby or child.
Once these base layers are accounted for, your focus should be on creating a feeling of belonging and love, and care for your child. Obviously, there are ways to weave love and affection in throughout your child’s day. Some of my favorites include babywearing, snuggling, telling my child, “I love you,” giving them kisses on their head, and holding them when they are looking for closeness or comfort.
Support your child through their struggles and as they learn new skills.
Whether it’s communicating (learning to talk), learning to nurse, read, ride a bike, or sleep independently, there are bound to be some struggles.
Young children don’t always have the language development or vocabulary to express their frustrations, so crying is typical and frequent during the early childhood years. Instead of dismissing their cries or telling them, “You’re okay,” let’s normalize validating their feelings and supporting them through it.
Listen to a conversation I had with my colleague, Ashley Olson, from Heaven Sent Sleep for more on crying.
Repair your relationship when things are amiss.
Inevitably, you won’t always respond in a way that is right.
As parents, we yell and get frustrated by our child’s actions. We’re human, after all.
We may yell because the older sibling hit the younger one. Or tried to run away from you in the parking lot. Or it’s just been a long day and your patience is GONE. Poof!
This is bound to happen, so don’t feel guilty when it does.
Instead, take a moment to collect yourself and calm down. Then, focus on repairing the relationship with your child.
Apologize for the way you handled yourself. They’ll learn to see that you’re human, too.
And since you’re human, and handling all of your child’s feelings can be triggering, especially when it comes to sleep, don’t forget we’re here for you! If you’d like some professional support in navigating your child’s sleep in a way that supports your secure attachment and relationship with them, check out our services here. We’d love to work with you!